In our quest to find lots of wonderful items for our booth at Luckett’s Spring Market, we go to LOTS of Estate Sales.  So we thought we’d share with you some of the tips and tricks we have learned along the way.

Most estate sales are multi-day affairs, starting either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  The best places to find out about upcoming sales are www.EstateSales.net, www.EstateSales.org,  Craigslist (www.craigslist.com), and your local newspaper classifieds.  EstateSales.net allows you to sign up for email notification of upcoming sales, and they usually have pictures of the more interesting items for sale.  Plan on going to the first day of the day of the estate sale if there are any items you are definitely interested in at any price.  The last day of the sale is the best for bargains – most items are discounted 25-50% – but be prepared for crowds.

What to bring:

– 1 or 2 bags (recyclable grocery bags work well)

– tape measure (to make sure that dresser will fit into your bedroom)
– flashlight (to see into dark attics and basement corners)
– cash/checkbook with blank checks (some sales will only take cash)
– hand wipes (you won’t believe how filthy you will get)
– snacks (estate sales will make you hungry)
– and, if you’re feeling lucky, a large car or truck


If you are going to the first day of the sale, plan on arriving early if you want to be in the first wave of people to get in.  For example, if the sale is advertised to start at 8am, plan to arrive by 6am.  If you arrive early, there will usually be either a sign in sheet or numbers provided.  And, in our area, if you are super early, an unofficial system of temporary numbers (not associated with the estate sale company) is used.  Look for someone, usually sitting in their vehicle, who is giving out these “temporary numbers.”  These temporary numbers are traded in for “official numbers” dispensed by estate sale personnel.  Every estate sale company works differently.  For example, one company in our area passes out the official numbers exactly one hour before the start of the estate sale.  They will honor the order of the temporary numbers, but you MUST be present – if you have gone off to get a coffee, your temporary number is worthless, and you are at the back of the line.  Another company never gets around to issuing official numbers, and simply honors the temporary numbers that whoever gave out.

In the photo above, my “temporary number” of 17 was replaced with a permanent number 14.  Three people in front of me were not there when the permanent numbers were handed out.  Depending on the size of the house, usually 20 people or so are initially allowed in.

Inside the house:

Be prepared for a feeding frenzy once you get into the house.  If you see something your want, grab it first and think about whether you really want/need it later.  Personally, we think the best rooms look like this – you never know what you’ll find under all that stuff!

We bought the little table to the right of the bed…

Getting it all home:

Keeping up with your weight training sessions is important to get everything home.

Here was our haul for 3 estate sales last Friday.  It took us 3 trips to get everything home!

This great old library card catalog was found in the corner of a basement laundry/tool room.

Thanks for joining us on our journey to Luckett’s Spring Market – only 46 days to go.